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Designer Sussanne Khan, on creating drama with décor

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Sussanne Khan is more than just an interior designer. She’s also dabbled in fashion, and runs a successful store in Mumbai, The Charcoal Project, that turned 10 this year. After a decade of showcasing interesting pieces of design, she recently revamped her store and collaborated with other like-minded individuals to bring out new collections of work spanning furniture, kitchen sinks, bathroom suites, and more. In a quick tete-a-tete, Khan reveals her design style, shares tips, and tells us more about her store.

Beautiful Homes: How would you define your personal design style?
Sussanne Khan:
I like doing diverse things, so my personal design style keeps changing too. Lately, I am moving towards quiet luxury with a pop of fun—that is my vibe right now, but like I said, it keeps changing. I think I would define myself as ‘edgy chic’.

BH: What tips would you recommend for creating some drama in décor?
Drama is not just about bling or other things that we perceive as such. Drama in décor can be created by anything—be it through lighting, an interesting colour palette, oversized pieces, as well as miniatures. So, I think the word drama is very diverse and depends on one’s personality and what they are attracted to.

But playing with these various elements can create the required drama. I would recommend a muted colour palette that is layered for subtle drama, a different lighting scheme for a more enhanced look, and juxtaposing miniatures with oversized objects to create a compelling contrast.

BH: How can one balance a dark colour palette with lighting?
They should probably have a cove on the ceiling that is facing upwards. Or a track that is hitting upwards so that the light bounces off the ceiling and comes down. This way, the dark walls are enhanced without direct light hitting you.

Sussanne Khan is an interior designer, who has also dabbled in fashion, and runs a successful store in Mumbai, The Charcoal Project.

BH: What are the colours that are in trend right now?
The colour palette that I’ve used for my new collection in collaboration with Sternhagen is what I think is in trend right now. It is a very muted Spring/Summer palette. I’ve chosen shades of earthy terracotta, olive, mushroom, sage and pearl. I foresee these hues being big as they are well-suited for most homes.

BH: You have recently overhauled your store, The Charcoal Project. What have you done differently this time?
We are creating various collaborations with different brands and showcasing them in my store. The idea is to create luxury collections that are also affordable, high on tech and in colours that can be a good fit in all homes. From bath suites and kitchens to vanity mirrors and décor pieces, we have it all to suit different tastes. I want these collections to be accessible to most people and encourage the design fraternity to opt for local brands over international ones for their clients, without compromising on style and function.

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